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>> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i'm katty kay. what went wrong in benghazi -- lack of intelligence or lack of security? congress has questions. inside the stronghold of the bashar al-assad, the bbc gains rare access to one legion of syria still trying to ignore the conflict -- one region of syria still trying to ignore the conflict. in las vegas, the housing crisis has left people wishing they had not taken the gamble. >> i was left over extended.
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>> welcome to our viewers on public television in america and also around the globe. it has now been four weeks since the attack on the libyan consulate in benghazi, which left the u.s. ambassador and three others dead. today, american rule makers were demanding answers about whether the levels of security were enough. testifying before a congressional committee, state department official said the correct number of agents were in place. during this election season, this issue has become controversial. our north america editor reports. in the american ambassador to libya, chris stevens, and three of his colleagues -- >> the american ambassador to libya, chris stevens, and three of his colleagues died in the attack. they had repeatedly asked for tighter security. initially, the american government the attack to protest against an anti-muslim film.
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now they say it was a terrorist attack. >> the committee will come to order. >> republicans are outraged at the change. >> in fact, it was 9/11, the 11th anniversary of the greatest terrorist attack in u.s. history, in new york, pennsylvania, and at the pentagon. it was that the anniversary which caused an organization allied with al qaeda to attack and kill our personnel. >> this is not just about why the attack took place. people at the state it -- the charges that people ignored the request for further security. only months before the election, that is a very serious charge. imitt romney has put the attack at the heart of his argument that president obama does not stand for america. -- stand up for america. >> as the administration has finally conceded, these attacks
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were the deliver it work of terrorists. >> the committee -- for the deliberate -- these attacks were the deliberate work of terrorists. >> we have hundreds of terrorist-type activities. our consulate is bombed twice. the british ambassador has an assassination attempt. you are arguing about whether the number was five or two or five or three. >> democrats say the cuts backed by republicans are the problem. some say the whole situation is out of control. >> we all know the game. we want to stop the attacks on our embassies? let's stop trying to overthrow governments. >> one person said that another six agents would not have made a difference. this is about the state
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department looking complacent. >> for more on the hearings and what happened in benghazi, i am joined by p.j. crowley. thank you for coming in. whatever your former employers say, there was a security problem in benghazi, wasn't there? >> absolutely. you see clearly that the security situation was underestimated. while there might not have been in the intelligence, you have a number of armed factions who are capable of doing what one group eventually did. we understand that, notwithstanding questions about numbers and capabilities, the military team that was there -- it is not clear that any number of security personnel inside the perimeter of the consulate could have repelled the attack. we did get hints today that potentially more personnel might have been able to evacuate those injured, perhaps save the life
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of the ambassador. >> there are views that this attack was unprecedented. that is the very nature of the attack, that it can be unprecedented. it is very hard to gauge what kind of security is needed. >> undersecretary pat kennedy, the lead witness today, made a compelling point that, as soon as the united states made a decision to resume normalized relations with the new government after participating in the overthrow of gaddafi, once we made that fundamental decision, it put our personnel at risk. where you can eventually -- this was a diplomatic mission. they had not had time yet to work on a normal construction project and build a permanent facility. the state department was excepting the level of risk. while the jobless risk mitigation, you could never bring the risk down to zero. as soon as the united states was establishing a diplomatic presence in the benghazi, they understood there was always going to be risk involved.
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>> the sad irony of this is that american diplomats, since 9/11, the attacks, they have often been criticized for being too removed, set up behind brick walls, not able to communicate with people. >> that is always the balance. if you withdraw inside fortresses, you cannot do the job you want to do. you cannot influence and promote libyan society in the way that you want to. that is the conundrum. that is the balance that obviously we are critiquing in after -- after the event. trying to figure out what lessons to learn and how to move forward in the future. >> if you listened to those hearings, you heard how intensely political they were. four weeks before the election, is this the right time? >> today was a political event. they are important questions. there are still better questions. we still do not know the bottom line of why this group was
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motivated act as it did. was it planned well in advance? was it somewhat spontaneous? what kind of changes should we make in the future? >> thank you mary much for coming in. now to turkey, where jets forced assyrian passenger plane to land in ankara today -- forced a syrian passenger plane to land in ankara today. the plan was eventually released. turkish -- the air plan was eventually released, allowed to resume its slide -- the airplane was eventually released, allowed to resume its flight. more than 32,000 people have been killed in the uprising across the country. yet one region in western syria, along the mediterranean coast, remains largely untouched by the violence. it is the ancestral home of president assad and his mi
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niority. -- minority. >> another day dawns along the mediterranean. there is an ease in this area that you do not find in many parts of syria anymore. the only fighting in this part of the country is among friends. i met a popular group of students at a cafe. they come from many groups, but the coexist here -- but they coexist here. it is hard to believe that war is raging just a few hours from here. >> is it too dangerous to come to syria? >> you can see people shopping and playing. nothing. >> nothing happens. no problems here. maybe like -- they say there is
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a problem in damascus, for example. it is not all of damascus. it is one little area. not a whole city. >> but this place isn't shut off from the rest of the country. when serious uprising began some -- when syria's uprising began some 18 months ago, there are also uprisings in the square here, but they were forcefully put down. aside from occasional demonstrations or explosions since then, this remains one of the most peaceful areas in the whole country. authorities are determined to keep it that way because this region is too important to lose. it is the ancestral home of the assad's. they are a large minority in this city and they dominate the hills behind.
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by charlotte saw's father is buried in these hills. we were -- bashar al-assad's father is buried in these hills. we were given rare access. he died in 2000, as syria's all- powerful president. it is often his -- it is often said his son is under pressure to preserve his legacy. this town was quiet when we visited. since then, there have been reported clashes between leading families. a measure of growing unease over their place in syria's troubled future. this region is still regarded as the president boss last lastbt -- president's redoubt. but war has reached part of this area. amateur video claims to show destruction in the community toward the turkish border. rebels now control some
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villages. the war is often described as a sectarian conflict. this man wants his identity hidden. he has long been in opposition. does he see it as a sectarian war? >> of course it is not. this is the work of the regime. from the very beginning, it has been trying to create this year to make them a line with the regime -- this fear to make them align with the regime. >> it is a secular mosaic. other parts of syria thought they were special, too. >> amazing beaches, jet skis, not something you associate with the de's syria. an egyptian court has -- with today's syria. an egyptian court has acquitted those charged with the attack. the charge left a number of
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protesters dead. the court found all of the defendants not guilty, including two former ministers. the u.s. anti-doping agency says its investigation into cyclist's lance armstrong has uncovered the most sophisticated professional and successful doping program the sport has ever seen. 11 of his warmer teammates testified against him in their statements -- 11 of his former teammates testified against him in their statements. mr.'s nor -- nobel prize for chemistry has been won by two americans -- and this year's nobel prize for chemistry has been won by two americans, robert lefkowitz and brian kobilka. it is hoped that their work could ultimately produce medicines that have fewer side effects. now to twist in the case of the punk group. one member of pussy riot walked
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free today, but two of her colleagues are heading to a penal colony. they performed a song in the cathedral, mocking vladimir putin. >> she was free, but she didn't get far. yekaterina samutsevich was mobbed by supporters and journalists. but she was soon in the arms of her father. , but i feel bad for the others who did not get out. >> in court, some would say that the two-year -- in court, her setnece -- her sentence was commuted. the other two will be sent to a prison colony. she says, open will we have been jailed for our political
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beliefs -- she says, "we have been jailed for our political beliefs. ieven if we are sent to siberia, we will not stay silent." then again, they never have. it is this stunned which put three of them behind bars. they besieged the virgin mary to rid russia of vladimir putin. in court today, the defense lawyer argued that her client should be treated more leniently because she had not been given the chance to perform these controversial punk prayers at the christ the cathedral. even before her guitar was taken out of the case, she was taken out of the building. protests were held outside of the courthouse. the female punk group is out of tune with the public opinion.
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believe that the sentences lenient -- tehe sentence is lenient. yekaterina samutsevich has apologized, but she does not believe she has committed a crime. >> more still to come. could solar storms knocked your navigation way off course -- storms knock your navigation way off course? the teenage active is shot by the taliban in northern pakistan has been visited -- the teenage activist shot by the taliban in northern pakistan has been visited by a general. she became famous after she criticized the taliban for targeting schools like hers. the taliban has warned that even if malala yousafzai survived the attack she will still be a
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target -- survived the attack, she will still be a target -- survives the attack, she will still be a target. >> they are in shock. her classmates pray for their friend. she says malala is like our sister. we pray for her earliest recovery and well-being and that others didn't benefit from her in lightning -- and that others benefit from her enlightening views. the injured girl is in the hospital, still unconscious and in critical condition after surgeons removed a bullet from near her spinal cord. >> malala yousafzai. [applause] >> this is malala just a few months ago, receiving an award for her campaigning in favor of girls' education, but her
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success made her a target for the taliban. the cold-blooded shooting of such an innocent victim has united most of pakistan and its immediate in a wave of revulsion. this shopkeeper says that it is the proof of brutality. this is not an attack on malala, but all the daughters of this nation. the taliban has justified the attack, saying malala was pro- western. some tribal leaders said this was against their -- against islamic practice. >> there are less than four weeks to go until american voters cast their ballots. the presidential candidates are fighting for votes. nevada has the highest rates. residents want help. the candidates are promising to do more, but can they fix
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america's housing crisis? last week, i went to las vegas, where life is in short supply -- where luck is in short supply. know where have they partied harder -- nowhere have they partied harder. they didn't just gamble with chips. they risked the future, too. >> i was one of the ones to over-extended and spend beyond their means -- ones who over- extended and spent beyond their means. >> she walked away from her house, left it to the bank, and lost her life savings. >> it was my dream home. it was around a golf course. a gorgeous view. green, lush. a beautiful community.
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>> at 9 out of 10 houses on the market in las vegas today are in a similar position, where the owner bought a home for more more -- a home for far more than it is worth today. it is a story of boom and bust. the most pressing issue facing -- facing the next president is how to fix the housing crisis. until that is done, the economy will not recover. >> ♪ i was born free ♪ >> campaigning in the area, mitt romney has promised help. >> we have to reignite the home values so they start going up again. >> president obama insists he has already helped. >> we have helped homeowners refinance their mortgages. >> bottoming out is what has already happened to the houses next to this pig farm. at the height of the boom, the hogs made acceptable neighbors.
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after the crash, not so. homeowners here know the value is not coming back. >> let them buy a new home. >> only in las vegas would have foreclosure lawyer the famous. there is a counter intuitive solution -- more credit is needed and now. >> home owners cannot go out and buy with cash. they need financing. investors that are buying houses right now are foreign. >> you have people from other countries buying these houses from outside the country. >> right. >> who is coming? >> a lot of asian countries, a lot of canadian money, a lot of australian. >> the same crash that has made bargains for foreign investors has swelled the lines of nevada's welfare offices.
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unemployment is up. these people do not think politicians can help. >> they blame the bank. they do not think obama has done much to punish the bank. they do not see running as a guide will help them with the bank -- see romney as someone who will help them with the bank. >> business has returned to but it -- vegas' strip, is a fantasy land, the golden shimmer of fragile facades for an economy still floundering. speaking of areas down on their luck, tonight, standard and poor's have cut spain's credit rating to triple-b minus, just above junk status. the agency cited a deepening recession which limits the government's options to stop the slide for the reason -- as the reason for the downgrade. satellite navigation has changed the way we live. old-fashioned map has been
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replaced by digital guides -- the old-fashioned map has been replaced by digital guides. our edit your reports on the latest research -- our e ditor reports on the latest research. >> it is when the loneliest stations in the world. -- it is one of loneliest stations in the world. a giant flare erupts from the surface. it is a solar storm, a mesmerizing site, but scientists say this could disrupt -- a mesmerizing sight, but scientists say this could disrupt the signals from satellites. this scientist has to carry a gun because there is a real threat from polar bears.
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they are researching whether solar flares could affect satellite navigation. >> what we need to research is how these gps systems are affected by solar storms and by these huge amounts of energy coming into the earth. >> when that solar energy strikes, you get the northern lights, the famous swirl of particles in the upper atmosphere. this can disturb the gps system on a serious scale. scientists are finding out the true extent of that effect. they have measured how severe conditions can lead to a huge loss and the accuracy -- a huge loss in accuracy. how much disruption could you get? >> if you have a very large solar storm, you can get up to 10s of meters -- 10's of meters. >> 10's of meters between where
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you are and where you think you are. for most of us, it might not matter that much. for some, pinpoint navigation could be a matter of life and death. the more we have come to rely on satnav, in fact, anything involving satellite technology, the more critically important research like this has become. ideally, they will work out a way of forecasting the most damaging effects. there is still a lot of mystery about the sun, how it disturbs the atmosphere, and what that means for us, but this is where we will start to get some answers. >> ok. i always knew that maps were the best thing. that brings our program to a close. if you like to find me, fine
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dust on t -- find us on twitter. from all of us, thanks for watching. i'll see you back here tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at >> funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions.
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we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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- hi, neighbor! i'm going to share something special at school today. i can't wait to show you what it is! and then, we're having dinner... at a restaurant! and you're coming, too! i'll be right back! is made possible in part by... the richard king mellon foundation. dedicated for over sixty years to south western pennsylvania's quality of life, and competitive future. and by these pittsburg foundations. working together to enhance and enrich the lives of children for more than seventy-five years. and by the arthur vining davis foundations. dedicated to strengthening america's future through education. adcasting, dedicated to strengthening america's future and contributions to your pbs station, from viewers like you. in the neighborhood ♪ and contributions to your pbs station,
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♪ a beautiful day for a neighbor ♪ ♪ would you be mine, could you be mine ♪ ♪ won't you be my neighbor? - ♪ it's daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ ♪ a land of make-believe ♪ won't you ride along with me? ♪ - ♪ ride along - ♪ it's daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ ♪ so much to do, so much to see ♪ ♪ won't you ride along with me? ♪ - ♪ ride along - ♪ i've got lots of friends for you to meet ♪ ♪ in this land of make-believe ♪ a friendly face on every street ♪ ♪ just waiting to greet you ♪ it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood ♪ ♪ a beautiful day for a neighbor ♪ ♪ in daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ - hi, neighbor! i'm so excited! today is my turn to take something to school for show and tell! that means i get to bring something in to school and show my friends.
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